For me, sometimes golf at its highest or most scenic form is a true walk in the park, an 18-hole nature tour for me and my friends where we can soak in the challenge, the competition and the beauty of the green-grass surroundings.

If that’s how you view (or would like to view) golf, then welcome to Arlington’s Tierra Verde Golf Club. This scenic 250-acre secluded nature preserve, which also doubles as a hugely popular public golf course, is just that.

When it opened in 1998 it became one of the first courses in North Texas and one of a handful in the state to seek and achieve the coveted designation as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary. Yes, it’s that pretty.

What sets this municipal course apart in my mind is that it’s a wonderful golf excursion into nature where you can barely see any of the other 17 holes from the one you are playing. The course is routed among several natural and manmade ponds with hundreds of wild reeds and trees guarding the fairways and greens.

While not seeing other people won’t disturb your golf excursion, ducks have been known to float on the waterways to honk at your shots and even waddle through the fairways on occasion.

A prime example of the natural beauty of the course is the par-3 14th hole. The short one-shooter tee box juts out into the water and the bulkhead-surrounded green is inviting enough to be used as a closest-to-the-pin location for many of the tournaments held here.

I’ll often step to the tee with the sun glistening off the water. You have one shot for glory or watery disaster, and a tricky putt for victory—or at least for bragging rights. My trusty 9-iron was in my hand when I launched my ball skyward and watched it land on the green with a thud.

“It’s going to be close!” my playing partner shouted.

It was, and nearly perfect. Just like my round of golf at Arlington’s Tierra Verde.